The Railroad Tracks

November 9, 2016
By , Cupertino, CA

“CRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUNNNCHHHHHHH.” I could hear the gravel stirring under my feet. My stomach churning in fear. 5:40 PM, summer. My sister and I were walking down the railroad tracks.
I took long strides, almost hopping daintily over the oddly placed boards, making a comment or two once in awhile, if I dared to speak at all. “ Dude, are you sure you know where we’re going? Because if we were in the right direction, we probably wouldn’t be stepping over glass shards every two seconds!” I was horrified of the creepy trees, and the shady people who sit on the ground and smoke, leaving their cigarette butts lit to char the ground. I hoped we could take my sister’s Instagram pictures and scram, quick. Anyways, why couldn’t I have stayed home? It’s not like I had any business even coming here. I was more of a goody-two-shoes person back then, I got scared of everything and I never really liked being adventurous. My sister was a very mature person, though a little over protective at times. She had beautiful jet black hair that she pulled into a tight braid everyday, and was always the responsible one who finished her homework at the right time and made her bed every morning. But when my parents were gone, it was a different story.“Legit, you need to calm down, nothing is going to happen.” She had a very laid back attitude, and kept telling me it would be fine. Again and again. About an hour had passed and the sun was starting to go down. My sister and I kept walking. You see, my sister and I always wanted to go to this gigantic bridge that was on the middle of the railroad tracks. Doesn’t sound like much, but the bridge is filled with beautiful colored graffiti art and words. My parents would never let me go, but we’ve always wanted to… so we went today. It took a long while before we finally made it.
Suddenly we were there. Standing right in front of me stood a colossal bridge, sprayed and imprinted with billions of different colors all made with an artistic hand.
It was cool for a minute, but then I started to get a bad feeling. “Shreya, I don’t think we are allowed to be here. We should go right now.” I couldn’t stand that we could get caught. I stood still, so many questions running through my head. “ What if someone catches us?” “Is the train going to run over us?” “What if someone finds out?” I sighed and stood there, confused.
I watched my sister taking her Instagram pictures. Click. Click. Click. I let myself sink down to my shoes while I messed with my laces.
Some time passed before I got fatigued of looking at my shoes. I decided to explore a little. I walked down to what was about ten steps to my right, and stopped not willing to go any further. I turned my head to check out the place. “WOAHHHHHHH. what’s this?” I couldn’t believe my eyes! “Do these things have anything left in them?” I raised the bruised and beaten silver can to my face. I couldn’t help but wonder when I could spray the can. I figured that now was the best time, as I was alone, and  tried clicking the nozzle wondering if anything would release. I held it up to the wall. At first, the can released a putrid smell, almost knocking out anyone within a twenty foot radius, and then made a cacophony of noises. Suddenly a light blue paint started to come out of the can. I lifted the can and drew the smallest dot. So small I could barely see it. And my sister came running.  
“ DUDE! ARE YOU AN IDIOT? THAT’S GRAFFITI!  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU! OHHHH, you just wait I’m telling mom and dad what you just did!” I felt a lump form in my throat, as my afternoon snack seemed to be coming up. Oh my god. Why did I do that? I didn’t even know that the can of paint was graffiti! My sister angrily dragged me by the back of my shirt all the way down the tracks, over the mini bridge to my home, and shoved me into my room. She gave me a two hour long lecture, about what graffiti was, and the terrifying consequences of vandalism, and told me that I was never allowed to go there anymore. I was in SO much trouble.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I kept wide awake until two a.m. , just thinking. Thinking about what I had done. My stomach started feeling queasy again. Too much guilt. This was the first time I had done anything...BAD. I tip-toed downstairs soundlessly and sat on my couch. It wasn’t even THAT much. Just a dot. Not much. Why was it such a big deal? I wasn’t actually trying to vandalise some random bridge in the middle of nowhere. I felt myself starting to slowly close my eyelids, and quietly promised that I would go back tomorrow to scrub it all off so then I wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt. And then groggily walked upstairs back to my cozy home of comforters.
Once I woke up I had to drag myself out of bed and to school. I guess there was no point in going, because I couldn’t take my mind off of the tracks the whole time. I came back from school and waited for my parents to leave for the grocery shop, so my sister and I were home alone. As soon as my parents slammed the door and pulled the car out, we left. Oh, and by the way, carrying a gallon of super strong soap, a roll of heavy duty paper towels, and some extra stain removal scrubby thing, was actually really heavy; Especially when you have to walk a mile or two. As we reached the bridge again, the whole thing replayed in my mind. I tried forcing it out of my mind, and staying on task, but it was tough. As soon as we reached my little blue dot, I started. I scrubbed and buffed the blue stain for a long time. So long I couldn’t keep track. Poured the soap, scrubbed the wall. Poured the soap, scrubbed the wall. I think I repeated that about fifty times, because my hand felt like it was going to fall off. I scrubbed till all was gone but the faintest light blue hue that outlined the circle. Finally, my sister, and even I, seemed a little more relaxed. I was starting to understand things. Things like what graffiti was. I tried focusing on the positives, but walking back was another pain in the butt except that the soap container was a little less heavy, for at least half of it was gone. But this time, I took the time to marvel at the bridge’s beauty. And I knew that my blue stain would remain forever.

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Mr.GrThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm
Wow! Wow! Wow! This turned out amazing. You balanced your inner feelings with external actions, moved through time, but didn't ever let the story get boring, provided so much interesting detail. What a thoughtful, well-written story. So good!
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